Matt Cameron and Kyle Jeffers each scored two goals and had an assist while Chris Garbe and Michael Outzen had a goal and an assist respectively to help lead the visiting New Jersey Titans to a 9 – 2 win over the Maine Nordiques. The victory enabled the Titans to split the weekend series between the teams.
The nine goals were the most the Titans scored in a game this season and it was the second time this year that they had won by seven goals (7 – 0 on October 25 against Jamestown).
The Titans scored early and often in the first period having scored four goals with the first one coming at 3:59 off the stick of Cameron. Ole Andersen picked up the loose puck at center ice and passed it up to Gavin Gulash. As Gulash gained the line, he passed it over to Garbe on his right. Garbe took a shot from the top of the near side faceoff circle that was initially stopped by Maine’s netminder Wesley Mankowski but the puck trickled through his pads and Cameron tapped it into the open net.
At 8:29 of the opening period, the Nordiques’ Tristan Thibeault was called for holding to give the Titans the man advantage. Forty-four seconds later Outzen scored his fifteenth goal of the season. After Mankowski made a save, the rebound went behind his net where it was picked up by his defenseman Jacob Crespo. Crespo tried to clear the puck along the near side boards, but it was intercepted by Kyler Head at the point. Head passed it down low to Mitch Machlitt who was to the left of Mankowski. Machlitt passed it out front to Outzen who one-timed it passed Mankowski to give the Titans a 2 – 0 lead.
A little over two minutes later Shane Haviland made it 3 – 0. Josef Glamos took a sharp angle shot that was saved by Mankowski but the rebound was picked up by Nick DeSantis who skated behind the Nordiques net. As he went to the far side corner, he drop passed the puck to Cade Penney who passed it up to Haviland at the bottom of the faceoff dot. Haviland took a one-timer that beat Mankowski short side for his fifth goal of the season.
Avery Sturtz replaced Mankowski between the pipes.
With eighteen seconds remaining in the period, Tyler Nasca gave the Titans a 4 – 0 lead. Machlitt picked up the loose puck at the side of the Nordiques net and tried to center it out front but it hit a Nordiques defender and the puck bounced to the far side half wall where it was picked up by Jeffers. Jeffers sent it back to Penney at the point who immediately sent a return pass to Jeffers. Jeffers made a cross-ice pass to Nasca who one-timed it passed Sturtz for his fifth goal of the season.
Maine got on the board just 1:40 into the middle stanza on Luke Antonacci’s first goal of the season. Antonacci took a shot from the far side point that was blocked out front by Garbe. As the puck slid towards the point, Antonacci picked it up and passed to Cannon Green at the half wall. Green passed it over to Antonacci on his right and the defenseman beat Titans netminder Patrick Pugliese short side to make a 4 – 1 game.
Jeffers scored his first goal of the night at 7:42 of the second. Head picked up the loose puck just outside the Nordiques zone and passed it back to Brody Medeiros near the far side boards who looked to reset the play. Medeiros made a cross-ice pass up to Jeffers at the Nordiques line. As Jeffers entered the zone, he skated to the hash mark and took a shot that beat Sturtz short side to make it a 5 – 1 game.
After multiple penalties were called with 2:40 remaining in the second, the Titans went on the power play. With time winding down on the man advantage, Outzen had the puck at the near side half wall and went to throw it on net, but it was knocked away and picked up by Machlitt at the far side boards. Machlitt passed it down low to Cameron who was to the left of Sturtz. As Cameron skated towards the slot, he backhanded a shot that beat Sturtz high, long side to make it a 6 – 1 game with forty-nine seconds remaining in the period.
The Nordiques added a goal from Kevin Pitts in the third while Jeffers, Glamos and Garbe finished out the scoring for the Titans. Glamos’ goal was the Titans third power play goal of the evening.
Pugliese, who had to make several key saves, stopped 28 of 30 shots while Mankowski and Sturtz combined to turn aside 28 of 37. Click here for the box score.
“I was really please with our response tonight” stated Titans head coach Craig Doremus. “It was a complete effort from our goaltender out. We have a lot of pride in our dressing room and the guys have high standards for our culture. Losing is not acceptable with this team and I am proud of the group. Onto Maryland” concluded Doremus.
The Titans will be back home next weekend for a two-game series against the Maryland Black Bears. It will be part of a five-game home stand.